Don Nelson and Monta Ellis briefly exchanged some heated words in New York city this afternoon, Marcus Thompson of Insidebayarea.com reports.
The situation, however, should mark the beginning of the end of either Nelson's horrific tenure as head coach of the Golden State Warriors, or Ellis' relatively short career with the dysfunctional bay area squad.
According to Thompson, who was on the trip to New York covering the Warriors, Ellis blasted a question into Nelson's face: "Coach, why do I get blamed for everything?"
Nelson responded by saying, "What have I ever blamed you for?"
"For everything. For everything. For people not knowing the plays. I didn't do this. I didn't that," Ellis explained.
Nelson, according to Thompson, brushed Ellis' comments, by waving his hands at the 24-year-old guard.
Ellis took his final shot and said, "See. That's why I won't do it. I just won't do it."
Warriors' fans booed Stephen Jackson opening night (and continue to do so occasionally) due to his summer trade request. However, Jackson's attitude and harsh criticism towards the most abominable franchise in the league should be taken to a more deeper significance in regard to the whole team's morale.
Most importantly, Ellis' morale.
Ellis and Jackson have a close relationship and they might have drawn this up together or Jackson might have motivated Ellis to open up and "speak his mind." Ellis, sooner rather than later, was going to speak out against Nelson regardless.
Ultimately, somebody had to speak out. Jackson initiated it, Ellis is continuing it.
Nelson, on the other hand, had a plan drawn out since he received news of Ellis injuring his ankle in a moped accident last year. He didn't like Ellis, anyways.
According to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Nelson was openly welcoming a trade scenario that would send Ellis elsewhere before he landed his $60 million deal.
He disliked Ellis' physical features. He knew that Ellis, standing at 6'3'' and 175 lbs, would have trouble guarding opposing SG's and that the best possible position for the Mississippi product would lie at the point guard position.
Not having a physically strong, smart, and athletic point guard would virtually make Nelson's "small ball" look even more inferior—a phenomenon that Nelson has been combating since the departure of Baron Davis to the Los Angeles Clippers.
So when Nelson woke up on Jun. 25, got ready to monitor the 2009 NBA draft for a surprise pick to fall in his lap, it did. Right there, with the seventh pick, Stephen Curry was available. When the Warriors (Nelson) decided to pick Curry, the 69-year-old head coach had accomplished half of his goal: irritate Ellis.
Ellis, before the draft, expressed various concerns towards the Warriors deciding to draft any point guards.
Nelson and puppet GM Larry Riley went to visit Ellis in his hometown of Jackson, Mississippi, to assure the 24-year-old that they would strongly attempt to acquire a dominant big man (later to become Amar'e Stoudemire) and add some "beef" to the front line.
Consequently, both Jackson and Ellis became frustrated.
In addition, by drafting Curry, Nelson placed Ellis on the hot seat. Nelson fully acknowledged that Curry and Ellis would not coexist in the same back court—not in the wildest of dreams. It was either Curry or Ellis.
Ellis, by that time, had already figured out Nelson's plans. He may have needed Jackson's help to grasp the whole situation, but he eventually understood what this franchise management's all about: hypocrisy.
Typically, this appalling management loves young and innocent players like Curry, Anthony Morrow, and Anthony Randolph, but quickly destroy players (including team officials) who expose their idiocy.
This brief spat in New York will be brushed off by the Warriors' Public Relations campaign. It will, however, spark further drama.
For now, it's either Nelson or Ellis in the Bay Area. As long as Chris Cohan remains owner of the Warriors, Nelson will have the upper hand on critical issues such as this one until he earns his money and smokes his way to Maui.
Ellis and Jackson both do not want anything to do with this franchise. How will this affect Randolph, Curry, and Morrow in the future? Is Andris Biedrins definitely considering a trade now? What is Ronny Turiaf experiencing now after leaving Los Angeles?
One thing is sure: the Warriors are awaiting critical change.